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David Singer (MIT)

September 13, 2018

Event Type: 

Please join us at CUIPS on Thursday, September 13th for a talk from David Singer (MIT). David will be presenting a paper entitled, "Attitudes Toward Internal and Foreign Migration: Evidence from a Survey Experiment in China." The abstract appears below:

Abstract: We explore attitudes toward internal and foreign migration in China using an original survey experiment. If labor market competition drives attitudes, then residents will be opposed to migrants with comparable skill levels, regardless of migrant origin. If residents fear a dilution of their national identity, then they will be more opposed to foreign migration than internal migration. We test these arguments by randomly assigning respondents to answer questions about migrants with different skills levels and from either foreign countries or other provinces in China. We find that attitudes cleave universally over skill level, but the foreign-internal dimension is, on its own, not a salient cleavage in preferences. However, when considering high-skilled migrants, respondents are more supportive of foreign than internal migration; when considering low-skilled migrants, they are more opposed to foreign than internal migration. The results cast further doubt on material explanations for attitudes toward migration and suggest a reevaluation of cultural threat arguments that privilege nationality and national borders.

As always, we will meet in the Lindsay Rogers Room (707 IAB) and a light lunch will be served at 12:15pm, followed by David's talk at 12:30pm.



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